In tribute to Ed Bartholomew

In tribute to Ed Bartholomew

Here are a few of the photos that I’ve been privileged to take of Ed Bartholomew over the years.

He hired Advokate to photograph events, to create the website nine years ago, to live-tweet DRI meetings and miscellaneous other things.

I have a proposal out to him right now to do a vlog series to bring back the Ed show, this time on social media. I wish we had a chance to do it. I would have liked to watch that. His support of the community and charisma was always entertaining, whether on TV or radio.

When I felt like a little kid at the table, Ed always treated me like I deserved to be there. He took me seriously and we had some really good chats about the goings-on of Glens Falls. I felt like he was real with me, that he let his guard down a little.

And it was nice to run into him at the hospital, Christ Church United Methodist or East Field and see him as grandpa. He’s so proud of Kellen and Trevor, always so there and invested in them. Any time we’d find ourselves in a meeting he’d update me on how their recent games went. When I first met Cory and asked him who his best friends were, he said Ed’s daughter Katie and her husband Kevin, and we are all still good friends.

He was instrumental in establishing the Arts District of Glens Falls. It was Ed who gathered all the arts organizations in a room back in 2010 or so when that HUD study defined Glens Falls as the Arts & Entertainment Gateway to the Adirondacks. We have been meeting ever since then, and are finally on the verge of a visible Arts Trail connecting the dots between the arts organizations in Glens Falls. It’s Ed who was distributing that funding, who was overseeing it as part of the DRI and who made sure we were a part of the plan.

When my son Henry was little, maybe four or five, he grabbed my phone and pushed some buttons. And somehow he called Ed Bartholomew to say hi. I was mortified and apologized. From then on, any time he saw Henry, he’d say to him, “Call me later, okay?” and my face would turn red and we’d all laugh.

When the DRI was announced, I made a T-shirt for him that said “The 10 Million Dollar Man” and dropped it off at his office with a note that said  Glens Falls. I hope he wore it. I hope he felt like that. It was a major win for Glens Falls.

We were actively working on the Arts Trail. He had budgets to review, checks to cut, plans to oversee. I was supposed to call him last Monday. We had things to do. He had things to do. And he always did it all himself, so dedicated to his work and to bettering Glens Falls.

He was one of a kind, and his love for Glens Falls and boundless energy made a real impact on our region. His work mattered. Big time. 

He was a mentor to many. The wind beneath Glens Falls’ wings.

Here’s an excerpt from Mayor Hall’s statement about some of his accomplishments:

• Redoing East Field and bringing minor league baseball to the city
• Opening the Civic Center and bringing hockey here
• Helping Glens Falls become a HUD entitlement community
• Establishing the Dix Avenue tech park
• Starting the Glens Falls Industrial Development Agency and the Greater Glens Falls Local Development Corporation, both of which led to great developments here in the city of Glens Falls
• Helping establish the Greater Glens Falls Transit System
• And many more programs and accomplishments for the betterment of the city and the surrounding area.

He also created the Small Business Recovery Fund, and was actively trying to help small businesses stay afloat in Glens Falls. He asked Advokate to partner up on that. He was looking out for small businesses, and he was looking out for Advokate.

Ed was not only a visionary; he put in all the hard work to make these things actually happen. And they are BIG things. Defining things.

I am going to miss the scramble of paperwork, the Glens Falls chats, and feeling like I had a place at the table because he believed in me. I’m going to miss my friend.

I’m sorry for his family’s loss, and I’m sorry for our city’s loss. Mayor Hall said it all: His shoes will be impossible to fill.

Glens Falls is what it is because of Ed Bartholomew.


Kate Austin-Avon

Kate E. Austin is known for her creative advocacy. She is a regular speaker on branding and social media with educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce. She owns and operates Advokate, LLC. Currently she serves on the boards of the Glens Falls Business Improvement District, is on the World Awareness Children’s Museum’s Advisory Council, and is involved in the Jackson Heights PTA. Originally from Killington, Vermont, she studied art at Hartwick College and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art from Empire State College. She is a mother of three.